Sunday, November 23, 2003

Who Wants To Be an Editor of a Stuffy Publication 

New York Magazine asks a bunch of prospective candidates, from expected to outlandish, if they want the job recently vacated by Chip McGrath:

Expected: Dale Peck, novelist and reviewer: “No. I would send back their letter with my own excrement on it. They have been just shitty to me. If I did take it, I would tell the staff that I was giving them a vacation to Club Med and put them on a plane to Siberia.”

Aw c'mon Dale, say how you really feel. That said, it would be somewhat amusing to get certain folks' takes on their time in Siberia.

Outlandish: Jackie Collins, author of Hollywood Divorces: “You bet! I’d give major space to commercial fiction as well as literary masterpieces. If books were food, you wouldn't want to have steak every day—some days you’d fancy a hamburger.”

Actually, I'm being slightly unfair, because Jackie has a real point. Why not give more space to commercial fiction? Granted, it ought to be of the midlist, underrated, up-and-coming variety (do we really need a zillion more reviews of the Grisham/Patterson/Cornwell ilk?) or gasp!--even a romance novel or two, since it does happen to take up the most market share of books sold. And not to give it short shrift, like the time the NYT actually did review a romance novel a few years ago (Jennifer Crusie's WELCOME TO TEMPTATION, which is more women's fiction anyway.)

But of course, it'll be months and months before a successor is announced anyway, by which time few of us will care, because we'll have moved on to some other pseudo-scandal du jour. Unless it's someone particularly shocking, unexpected, or controversial. That's the way things work, after all.

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